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I’ll freely confess that at the end of the new issue when I saw how Jaime had tied together the fates of Hopey, Maggie, and Ray I started crying like a baby. When I started burbling to Jaime about all this, he said that in working on his recent comics he was thinking that if he were hit by a bus tomorrow and killed he wanted to leave behind a story that would complete his life’s work. Having achieved that goal, the question now is what will Jaime do next.
–The Comics Journal‘s Jeet Heer on his recent conversation with Love and Rockets: New Stories #4 co-author Jaime Hernandez concerning the thought process behind his magisterial story “The Love Bunglers.” The only thing more striking than the fact that Jaime set this career-defining hurdle for himself is that he freaking cleared it.
But lest you think Jaime’s brother and co-author Gilbert’s getting no love out there, read the rest of Heer’s piece for (among many, many other things) an insightful defense of Beto’s much lauded but often divisive recent work, in which the sordid B-movies and equally sordid personal life of his buxom therapist-turned-actress character Fritz have taken center stage:
Recent Gilbert has been controversial in some circles because of its pitiless examinations of human perversity, its sardonic play with genre material and its sometimes savage violence. But I think the nay-sayers are so focused on the surface of these works that they ignore the deeper humanity that underlies them: Gilbert these days is often doing stories about damaged people, but he does so in order to lament the damage of physical and psychological abuse rather than to nihilistically revel in sordidness.
It’s worth noting that in his contribution to New Stories #4, Gilbert takes Fritz to a place of potential finality not unlike the one that his brother Jaime’s leading players occupy at the end of “The Love Bunglers.” Yeah, it’s really quite a comic.